TOMS Founder Blake Mycoskie On Turning The One-For-One Charity Model Into A Platform

Given the near ubiquity of its simply designed shoes, it’s almost hard to believe that TOMS, the company that’s known for donating one pair of shoes or eyewear to an impoverished child for every pair that it sells, was founded just seven years ago. But it turns out TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie has only just gotten started on his mission — and with the launch this month of a new e-commerce initiative called TOMS Marketplace, the one-for-one concept that’s been popularized by TOMS is moving well beyond shoes and sunglasses.

In a way, TOMS’ latest web launch turns the company into a platform — a concept that should be quite familiar to anyone in the tech sector. The TOMS Marketplace website is a one-stop-shop that brings together hundreds of “socially conscious products” from 30 different companies. The idea, Mycoskie said, is to encourage people to look at more purchasing decisions as opportunities to think about giving to those in need.

Mycoskie was visiting the San Francisco Bay Area last week, so we asked him to swing by TechCrunch HQ to talk about his new foray in the e-commerce space. We also discussed how tech companies can start thinking in a more philanthropic way from the start, how giving back can be good for business, and more. You can check that all out in the video embedded above.